Distribution of AMPA selective glutamate receptors in the thalamus of adult rats and during postnatal development. A light and ultrastructural immunocytochemical study

R. Spreafico, C. Frassoni, P. Arcelli, G. Battaglia, R. J. Wenthold, S. De Biasi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The regional, cellular and subcellular distribution of AMPA receptors was demonstrated immunocytochemically within the thalamus of adult and young (from 1 to 20 days postnatal, P1-P20) rats. The antipeptide antibodies used37 recognize individual subunit proteins of the AMPA-preferring glutamate receptor, i.e., GluR1, GluR2-3 and GluR4. Our results demonstrate that these AMPA receptor subunits are generally not highly expressed in the thalamus, as compared to other brain areas and that they are enriched differentially within different thalamic nuclei. GluR1 is mostly found in intralaminar and midline nuclei throughout life, whereas GluR2-3 is moderately expressed in the thalamus, with no major developmental changes. GluR4 is the predominant subunit expressed in the reticular nucleus in adult rats, but not in young animals, where until P9 it is instead present in the ventrobasal complex. Samples of paraventricular and lateral geniculate nuclei stained with GluR1 and of reticular nucleus as well as ventrobasal complex stained with GluR4 were used for the ultrastructural study. In all the samples, labelling was in the somatic and dendritic cytoplasm, with dense patches of reaction product apposing post-synaptic densities of terminals with round clear vesicles and asymmetric specializations. Glial staining was observed only with the GluR1 antiserum and there was no evidence of labelled synaptic terminals. The differential distribution of GluR subunits in the thalamus suggests that certain subunits may participate more than others in mediating post-synaptic responses in distinct neuronal populations and also that other GluR types may be involved in the thalamic networks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-244
Number of pages14
JournalDevelopmental Brain Research
Volume82
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 14 1994

Keywords

  • Electron microscopy
  • Glutamate
  • Non-NMDA
  • Ontogenesis
  • Receptor
  • Thalamus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Developmental Neuroscience

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